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Spring Flu Virus

Hi everyone. It has been sometime since I posted, I was diagnosed with PMR/GCA in February 2011, Temporal Arthritis confirmed by Biopsy. A couple of bad flares but down to 6.5 Preds by the beginning of the year. I had already had two bad coughing viruses and another one started February, I thought I was over that too but then I was hit with the Spring Flu virus. I never thought it possible to feel so ill and survive. I had a chest infection, the first antibiotic didn't work, the Doctor came again and said he thought I had multiple viruses, the second antibiotic stared working on the third day, I was told to up my Preds to 40 for 5 days and then go back to 6.5. Quite naturally I strained my chest and back coughing, which was very painful. When I reduced the preds the pain got worse and I realised the PMR had returned. I took another 10mg that day and 10mg the next day (today) but upped it to 20 at lunchtime as the pain was so bad. What I would like to know is do you think I have done the right thing and will it work and should I increase it more if the pain doesn't go. Pain killers just don't work with PMR as we all know. I would appreciate any advice. Thank you and good luck everyone.

4 Replies

Hi Dorene,

Sorry to hear what you've been through. 

Think it would be a good idea to stay at 20mg for at least a few days, or maybe a week or so, by which time hopefully you will feel a bit better. I would guess some of your pain is related to your coughing, and some to PMR - it's very difficult to tell the difference sometimes. Painkillers may help with those pains, but as you say will not touch the PMR.

If you find this increased dose doesn't work after a few weeks, then you may have to discuss with your doctor, but hopefully it should. 

Take care. 


Thank you Dorsetlady. I know the pain is partly strain from the coughing and I recognised the PMR when the pain relief was not working on my back pain. Deep down I know what to do but it is reassuring to hear it from someone who understands what you are going through. Thank you again

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Do check with your doctor - you mustn't use the pred as a pain-killer, that isn't how it works, and just increasing the dose will lead to other problems.  It will work for increased inflammation but it won't for pulled/damaged muscles. You can't blame everything on the PMR even if the pain is similar.


Thank you PMRpro for your advice, I recognised the pain in my back and neck was not being going with pain killers and assumed it was PMR. The pain in my back and neck is a lot better since I increased my preds to 20 but the strained muscle I am taking regular pain killers for. I will speak to my GP tomorrow but I know he will want me to go for blood tests and I am not feeling up to it right now. Thank you again.


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